ByDavid Alexander Speaker, writer at Creators.co

FROM: www.lateraldrop.com

Studio Ghibli are legends of animation. While they are huge in Japan, they are extremely underrated in America. They have produced some of the greatest animated movies of all time though. Most of their movies have not had wide releases in America, but they are currently available online if you are a big fan of animated films. I highly suggest seeking out every movie on this list.

Here are some caveats to remember: The Academy Awards did not have a Best Animated Feature Oscar until 2001. Many of these movies were not wide releases in the United States, so their box office results are not available. Since many of these movies were not wide releases in the United States, some of them do not have a lot of reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. I still included the review results as a point of reference though.

All information and statistics were taken from IMDB, Box Office Mojo, and Rotten Tomatoes.

Tales from Earthsea (2006) – 41%/47% Critic and Audience Score. Made $68 million at the box office. “In a mythical land, a man and a young boy investigate a series of unusual occurrences”.

My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999) – 75%/77% Critic and Audience Score. “The life and misadventures of a family in contemporary Japan”.

Pom Poko (1994) – 88%/79% Critic and Audience Score. “A community of magical shape shifting raccoon dogs desperately struggle to prevent their forest home from being destroyed by urban development”.

Porco Rosso (1992) – 94%/87% Critic and Audience Score. “The adventures of “Porco Rosso”, a veteran WW1 pilot in 1930s Italy, who has been cursed to look like an anthropomorphic pig”.

Only Yesterday (1991) – 100%/87% Critic and Audience Score. “A 27-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tôkyô”.

The Cat Returns (2002) – 89%/82% Critic and Audience Score. “After helping a cat, a young girl finds herself involuntarily engaged to a cat prince in a magical world where her only hope of freedom lies with a dapper cat statuette that comes to life”.

Whisper of the Heart (1995) – 91%/90% Critic and Audience Score. “A love story between a girl who loves reading books, and the boy who has previously checked out all of the library books she chooses”.

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989) – 100%/88% Critic and Audience Score. “A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service”.

From Up on Poppy Hill (2011) – 83%/78% Critic and Audience Score. Made $61 million at the box office. “A group of Yokohama teens look to save their school’s clubhouse from the wrecking ball in preparations for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics”.

The Secret World of Arrietty (2012) – 95%/85% Critic and Audience Score. Made $145 million at the box office. “The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family’s residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered”.

Ponyo (2008) – 92%/83% Critic and Audience Score. Made $201 million at the box office. “An animated adventure about a five-year-old boy and his relationship with a goldfish princess who longs to become a human”.

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (2013) – 100%/92% Critic and Audience Score. Nominated for Best Animated Feature Oscar. Made $24 million at the box office. “Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her – but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime”.

Castle in the Sky (1986) – 95%/91% Critic and Audience Score. “A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle”.

The Wind Rises (2013) – 89%/85% Critic and Audience Score. Nominated for Best Animated Feature Oscar. Made $118 million at the box office. “A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II”.

My Neighbor Totoro (1988) – 93%/94% Critic and Audience Score. “When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby”.

Howl’s Moving Castle (2005) – 87%/93% Critic and Audience Score. Nominated for Best Animated Feature Oscar. Made $235 million at the box office. “When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home”.

Grave of the Fireflies (1988) – 97%/95% Critic and Audience Score. “A tragic film covering a young boy and his little sister’s struggle to survive in Japan during World War II”.

Princess Mononoke (1997) – 92%/94% Critic and Audience Score. Made $159 million at the box office. “On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami’s curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime”.

Spirited Away (2001) – 97%/96% Critic and Audience Score. Won Best Animated Feature Oscar. Made $275 million at the box office. “During her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters, and where humans are changed into beasts”.

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